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How to avoid being scammed by fraudsters when booking flights and accommodation

The top tips to avoid falling victim to travel fraud have been revealed, after research showed more than 5,000 holidaymakers were scammed last year.

Travel association ABTA and Get Safe Online have published their advice after UK travellers lost £7 million in 2018 to fraudsters.

Half of the scams related to non-existent airline tickets with another 25 per cent of the tricks affecting accommodation which people had booked. The average loss was £1,300.

Here are the guidelines to keep your family safe when booking your holiday.

*Check the web address – make sure the address you are booking from hasn’t been altered from .com or .co.uk to something slightly different like .org

*Research thoroughly – check multiple reviews, don’t rely on just one, to find out whether a company is genuine. This is important on accommodation sites in particular.

*Is the company registered – look for the ABTA or ATOL logos to make sure the company is linked to a trade body.

*Use a credit card – always pay by credit card if you can. Avoid sending money directly to a person’s bank account.

*Paperwork – scan the small print on receipts and terms and conditions to avoid hidden traps. All companies should provide terms and conditions so be worried if there aren’t any.

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*Follow your instincts – if a price is too good then it probably isn’t legitimate so use your common sense.

What to do if you have been scammed?

*Report it as soon as possible to Action Fraud via www.actionfraud.police.uk.

For further advice on how to stay safe when booking or researching travel online, go to https://www.getsafeonline.org/shopping-banking/holiday-and-travel-booking/

For a full list of tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud, please see:  http://abta.com/fraud.

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